Vicente Luque wants to be the man who dethrones Kamaru Usman.
The UFC welterweight title contender hopes Usman is still holding the belt if he gets his long-awaited title shot. Luque (21-7-1 MMA, 14-3 UFC) is closing in on a chance to fight for the belt at 170 pounds. He’s 10-1 in his past 11 performances, and his most recent two wins were first-round finishes of former champion Tyron Woodley and Michael Chiesa.
Luque is determined to be champion and sees no better way of doing it than beating Usman, whom he holds in high regard.
“I do think that Kamaru already has history as champion and he’s one of the most dominant champions at welterweight,” Luque told MMA Junkie in Spanish. “I would love to beat Kamaru. I think he’s the best welterweight at the moment, and that’s why I would like to face him. If he wins, that would be the perfect fight.”
Usman will put his title on the line later this year in a rematch against Colby Covington at UFC 268 on Nov. 6. Covington arguably was one of the toughest fights in Usman’s UFC career. The two engaged in a back-and-forth war at UFC 245 in late 2019. Usman got a TKO finish late in the fifth round.
Luque thinks Usman is going to get the job done once again, which could set him up for the fight he’s been chasing.
“The first was was tough for both of them, but Kamaru in the end was able to get the TKO and finish the fight,” Luque said. “Almost the entire fight was boxing because they’re both very good wrestlers and that canceled out. What I see is that between them, Kamaru is the more active one (and) is evolving more in the striking.
“I think if the same fight plays out like the first one, I think we’re going to get another KO or TKO from Kamaru. I think it could come before the fifth round – maybe the third or second, because Kamaru has evolved a lot on the feet.
“Colby, you can’t say much about him. He hasn’t fought often, so it’s hard to say where he’s at. So I think Kamaru’s activity and improvement in striking, I think that will be important and help him win the fight.”